Mopes -- how to make a character unlikeable

Peter spends the majority of Spider-Man 2 moping, and it's fantastic.

Is that the one where he does the dance number? I kinda feel like we need to specify which actor and number since they have rebooted it so many times.

Still, I don't remember any version of any Spiderman movie where he's saying "Ah, man. It sucks that I have super powers". I remember a bunch of different Spiderman movies where he's exploring his powers and super happy about having them.

It sounds like the problem you're getting at is inactive characters.

You can have an inactive character that isn't also whining about their life. That can be a problem as well, but it doesn't generally make the character unlikable. In your NofLD example, you're right she's not the protagonist. And, to the best of my recollection, she's not "woe is me" so much as "holy hell I'm overwhelmed".

It's also worth noting that I very often give writers notes about inactive characters, and that doesn't always mean they're moping

Precisely. Inactive can be frustrating, but moping makes them unlikable on top of being frustrating.

Sometimes it's just that everything kinda falls into the protagonist's lap. Or someone else suggests a plan and the protagonist only has to agree. If a significant decision that defines your protag is suggested by another character first, consider letting the protag think of it themself - it's the better route 9/10 times.

Yes. Exactly. I've got a buddy who is currently editing a feature with this exact problem. Everyone is coming to the Prot and telling him "we've got to do this" and "please do that". He's not coming up with any ideas, and frankly none of the people coming to him really need his help. It's sort of an everyman sucked into a world of super spies, so why the superspies need him is completely unexplained. Not going to end up being a good movie.

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